Lexi Thompson falls quick in her bid to make PGA Tour reduce in Las Vegas

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Lexi Thompson delivered star-power moments constructed for a stage like Las Vegas, and when she poured in a pair of lengthy birdie putts Friday, she was on the cusp of historical past.

Thompson was 4 underneath with seven holes to play. In her sights was an opportunity to change into the primary girl in 78 years to make a 36-hole reduce on the PGA Tour.

One poor swing, one mediocre chip and one missed putt at finish left her on the surface of the reduce on the Shriners Kids’s Open, however no much less pleased with two days she gained’t quickly neglect. She needed to encourage children to chase their goals, and he or she did all of that on the TPC Summerlin.

“Enjoying with the fellows — wonderful feeling,” Thompson stated after a 2-under 69. “Rising up with guys, I’ve all the time needed to be out on a PGA Tour occasion and tee it up. However the greatest factor was seeing the youngsters on the market exterior the ropes after which assembly a number of of the Shriners ambassadors. That was probably the most particular.”

Her golf was a detailed second.

Thompson made 5 birdies in a 10-hole stretch, solely to make two bogeys towards the tip and lacking a 6-foot birdie putt on her closing gap. She had rounds of 73-69 to complete at even-par 142, lacking the reduce by three photographs.

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Lanto Griffin ran off 5 straight birdies for a 66, whereas Cameron Champ had a 67 within the morning wave. They shared the lead at 12-under 130. Henrik Norlander (64) was one other shot behind, with Canadian Open champion Nick Taylor (67) and J.T. Poston (69) two behind.

“Very proud. I performed very well in the present day,” stated Thompson, who hit 12 of 14 fairways and solely missed 4 greens. “Because the day went on, I attempted to remain dedicated to my targets on the market and to my swing ideas and simply loved the entire expertise.”

Her 69 was one wanting the document by a feminine on the PGA Tour — Michelle Wie twice shot 68 within the Sony Open, as soon as as a 14-year-old when she missed the reduce by one shot.

“I knew I needed to play my ‘A’ sport,” Thompson stated, including that golf was solely a part of her being in Las Vegas. “Simply coming into the week there was extra of a message than simply taking part in golf. To encourage the youngsters, that’s what I get pleasure from most.”

Thompson appeared as if she could be round for all 4 days.

She completed the opening spherical, which had been suspended by darkness, by lacking a 20-foot par putt on the seventeenth gap and making a tricky par save on the 18th for a 73. Then, she started her second 9 with a bogey on the tenth gap.

However the 28-year-old American got here to life. She stuffed her strategy to 4 toes on the eleventh for a birdie. She was simply off the inexperienced on the par-5 thirteenth and took two putts for birdie. She drove the 296-yard fifteenth inexperienced for a two-putt birdie.

Thompson made the flip and promptly holed a birdie putt from simply inside 25 toes for birdie, after which she poured in a birdie putt from simply inside 30 toes.

She was 4 underneath for the spherical by way of 11 holes, and a couple of underneath for the event.

“I knew as soon as I had made a number of birdies in a row that I’d be considerably shut, however I knew the reduce line would carry on going decrease and decrease with these guys, particularly with not that a lot wind on the market,” Thompson stated.

“I attempted to remain centered on my sport and centered on my swing ideas, selecting small targets and staying 100% dedicated.”

All of it modified with one swing — and one good move. Her tee shot on the par-3 fifth was properly to the suitable into the native space, the pin towards the suitable aspect of the inexperienced. As an alternative of taking an enormous threat by attempting to hit out of the desert, she took a penalty drop for a clear lie 98 yards from the outlet and hit wedge to five toes to flee with bogey.

Her hopes light on the lengthy par-3 eighth. Her 2-iron went simply over the inexperienced, chipped weakly to 12 toes and missed the par putt. Needing a birdie on the par-5 ninth to have any likelihood, she chipped 6 toes by the cup and missed the putt.

The reduce was at 1 underneath when she walked off the ninth inexperienced, however already was at 2 underneath after she had signed her card with excellent scoring circumstances, it was sure to go decrease.

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Thompson was the seventh girl to play on the PGA Tour. Babe Didrikson Zaharias was the final to make a 36-hole reduce in 1945.

This was by no means about successful. Thompson was 11 photographs out of the lead after the primary spherical. She completed in a tie for eighty fifth within the 132-player discipline.

Even so, Thompson delivered a spotlight in an in any other case tough yr. She hasn’t gained on the LPGA Tour in additional than 4 years, and he or she was in jeopardy of dropping her LPGA card till posting a pair of prime 10s earlier than arriving in Las Vegas.

Thompson stated she would take the following few weeks off earlier than returning to the LPGA in Florida for the conclusion of the season.



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